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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Holding Pattern


Grandmama has been asking how we are doing and what we're up to, which is usually a signal to let me know that we haven't been A) calling B) writing C) blogging or D) all of the above. I guess you can figure out what the answer is.

So let's see. 

Last week we had a two hour delay on Monday and we skipped karate because Liam had a lot of homework. Tuesday was a snow day, wouldn't you know it, so we forgot all about homework that was due Wednesday since we'd done so much on Monday night. We skipped the half hour weapons class at karate because we were cozy and didn't feel like taking longer to get to class than we would spend IN class. Wednesday rolls around with another two hour delay just to be on the safe side. We made it to karate and naturally it was, "unbelievably poopy out" (a Grandmama-ism), which makes it a splendid time to realize, "waitaminute, it's mid-January and I have no idea where my ice scraper is because I haven't NEEDED it for these past two months, wahoo!" Just another reason God gave us mittens. So I mittened off Pepe and we sludged home. 

Then, amen and hallelujah, two whole days of school! Bliss! Except we'd all gotten used to sleeping in a little (or a lot) and we are all harder to motivate in the cold and in the dark. Everyone made it onto their buses at the appointed times and this Mama got her errands done in the outside world.

Saturday meant we needed to pick up a karate class or two to make up for skipping so much earlier in the week, so we headed to sparring class to use all the fancy gear the kids got as Christmas presents. It was their second or third time sparring, third I think, and it seemed to go really well. It was a big class meaning there were lots of people of all ages, sizes, and ability levels, and they were pairing up to spar and separating again so that those without partners for one round were the first to choose partners for the next round, and so forth. 

I was really proud of Carrie, especially, as she's not afraid of anyone including the men, and goes right up to them when it's her turn to pick. The guys are all good sports, quick to teach and correct, and usually have kids of their own in the class. I told the kids that the grownups make good targets because they're so big, while the kids are small and fast. The men usually also do a great job encouraging the kids, showing them where to best hit on them, how to turn, where to strike for more power, etc. It was really fun to watch! I was impressed with a lot of other students, too, who were also very good teachers and would hold back a little less because it was kid-on-kid. Dada did get some pictures on his phone but they're not ready for here yet, so remind me. 

Damon and Liam also had to get cups, for obvious reasons as there's a lot of kicking and striking going on, so it was doubly hilarious to watch Damon adjusting his cup with one hand and his mouth guard with the other while he waddles across the floor in all his pads. Priceless. He was delighted with the whole package and had to be almost forcibly persuaded to take out his mouth guard and put it in his bag until next week. That kid would probably sleep with it if he could...

We've spent the past several months reading Harry Potter at bedtime and the rule is that we have to finish the book before we watch the movie. Because we polished off the third book earlier in the week, we got to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban last night. We've begun book four, and though Damon often falls asleep while I'm reading, Liam is completely absorbed and is crushed when we don't have time to read at night. He pays close attention and is frustrated when someone doesn't say a line in the movies that tickled him in the books. Can't say I blame him. It's been really fun to read to them and it's been interesting to see their reactions to changes between the books and the movies. It took Carrie three or four tries to make it through book four, but she finally did it and has now started the fifth one. We love seeing how much the actors have grown because they were so little with such baby faces when they started filming! And the kids noticed right away that Dumbledore is different in the third movie. It's been a very enjoyable process, one that I'm glad we have a long way to continue!

Today we'll be heading to church and doing some more homework because it's a long weekend and the time off for snow has pushed their work back a little bit. The snow is almost gone and good riddance. Dada had gotten our trusty John Deere out with the bucket on the front and plowed the driveway last week. Now that I look outside again it's snowing fast, tiny flakes...

We've had tons and tons of feathered friends and fuzzy squirrels. We've seen white-breasted nuthatches, hairy woodpeckers, Red-bellied woodpeckers, blue jays, juncos, finches, Goldfinches, cardinals, and our owls have been heard twice this month already. Yay! We salvaged one plastic bird feeder from the wreckage of the birdhouse disaster and have been refilling it every other day with sunflower seeds. The cranberry suet out back seems to last a long while even with our many small visitors. Carrie is worried about "her" frogs as the "pond" has frozen completely. She was chopping air holes in the ice for them the other day. Triskal is glad to come in where it's warm. She'll check around under the table for dropped tidbits and then head over to her corner where she's soon snoozing away. It's like having a large piece of fuzzy furniture...

Virgil Eugene still has his hat, but Cheeky Beaky is going to need his scarf pretty soon, methinks.  And I must go get ready for church, so have a good week, everyone!

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